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Big Girl


Reading just the beginning of Lee Smith’s “Big Girl” elicited from me a number of different emotions. First, I was amused that I would read a story that I could relate to, for I am myself a big girl. Yet, second, I was appalled that this narrator, this voice was insulting the women of her own in-group; of her own size. I am a size 20, and I must proudly admit that I have been a cheerleader, a majorette, and the president (not treasurer) of five clubs including the Student Government Association. I rant… but that just goes to show just how strong of a voice Smith created throughout this story, therefore allowing her to sort of “get away” with not immediately creating a clear sense of place.

I thought that Smith’s decision to emphasize voice and the narrator’s train of thought over establishing place was absolutely genius. Though a clear conception of setting isn’t established throughout the story, we are still able to visualize the narrator’s emotion and perhaps physical expression as she presents this tale. I understand that this workshop focuses on place and a strong sense of setting, but I am really digging Smith’s way of producing such.

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